26 January 2012

babyled weaning: learning to drink

I've been feeling a little defeated on the sippy cup front. 

(I know it sounds like a really terrible problem.) 

I've let LE play with sippy cups for a few months, but they all have the most ridiculous anti-spill mechanisms.  One she needs to bite the spout and then suck - not a trick that a nursing mother wants her child with 3 teeth to learn!  Another has a straw and you have to suck with all your might to get anything out.  I'm sure there are better options out there, but these are the two we have.

I saw a mommy friend offering her nalgene bottle with a flexible straw inside to her toddler and thought that was a pretty brilliant, yet simple idea.  She said you can teach baby's to suck by starting with a smoothie via straw - this gives them incentive to learn how to make the straw work.  So, today I made LE a basic smoothie (plain whole milk yogurt with some frozen strawberries and peaches) and SHE LEARNED TO USE A STRAW instantly!  I was so proud of my baby. 

(I promise she doesn't wear this dress everyday...it just keeps making it in photos.)

25 January 2012

camera (and people) shy

LE loses all her silliness and becomes the most serious baby when we actually try to take a family photo. 

 Normally she spends all day blowing bubbles and hamming it up.  Unless I try to leave her with someone...then she screams.  Even a strange person saying "hello" can put her into tears these days.  I take her to my gym's daycare a couple times a week.  Some days I make it through 30 minutes of yoga or swimming before they come to get me, some days it's only 3 minutes, and on a really lucky day I make it the full hour.  All the workers know her by name now and they are probably wondering why I keep bringing the poor child back.  She's my sensitive soul little girl.  And I guess she's on to my trying to pawn her off... 

Want a cute baby for a couple of hours?  Call me.  (Seriously.)

19 January 2012

gettin' her hair did

We have been super blessed that pretty much all of LE's wardrobe has been donated or gifted to us.  A couple of our dear neighbors have really pitched in, as their daughters are exactly one year older than LE making their hand-me-downs perfect for us.  I literally have only bought her a few things, and even then it's from the clearance rack. 

One item we have been given are hair bows.  While I think my neighbor's daughter and other little girls look adorable in bows and headbands with flowers, I just don't think my LE is one of them.  She's the prettiest (and smartest, because lets face it, LE's got the whole package) little girl I have ever seen, but she's got more of a tomboy look (is that possible for a baby?) or maybe I'm just not a bow mom... 

You judge...

I was a pigtail girl myself. The Engineer told me after a few years of dating that I looked ridiculous and was too old for pigtails. It was one of those "that would have been nice to know 3 years ago" moments. I was in grad school at that point, in his defence.  I remember it clearly, because it had never hit me before that I was probably too old for pigtails.  We were helping his brother and SIL move into their new home.  I was also wearing a little boys t-shirt from salvation army...probably was too old for that move too, right Engineer?

18 January 2012

pumped up kicks

(I'm super proud of those thighs.  I made them, and am continuing to make them so glorious!)

So, as LE starts to stand up and "cruise" a little, my mom mentioned I needed to get her some STRIDE RITE White Shoes.

Like these...

You know, so she doesn't roll her ankles?!

I informed my mother that those were so 30 years ago and shoes are no longer recommended, especially before they are walking and even then barefoot is better.  So they say. 

We then went to the mall and happened to come across a Stride Rite store and sure enough they had a pair of white high tops for sale.  Oh dear, LE would be the nerdiest baby alive in those.  But they did have some cool socks that have elastics around the ankles, keeping those puppies in place - Genius!  Aren't socks one of your biggest baby battles?  It's certainly mine.  I usually let LE win if we're inside.  Honestly, I don't pick a ton of battles to win.  I win the "you must sit buckled in your carseat" and "you must wear a diaper" battle and that's about it.

13 January 2012

welcome to my world of cloth

Once you go cloth, you'll probably never go back.  It's a whole world that I never knew existed, and once I was introduced I became completely sucked in. 

(I have to thank my dear friend, Katie, for inspiring me to go cloth.)

So, if cloth diapering isn't for you, trust me I understand, but if you're interested or have thought to yourself "My oh my, LE's booty is super cute in those colorful dipes!" then this post is for you.

We started with an All In One (AIO) diaper.  This means the diaper is exactly like a disposable, no stuffing, no pinning, no covers.  We used Bum Genius XS AIO diapers for LE's first two months of life.  It fit well around her newborn umbilical cord, was easy for our families to use, fit LE's tiny newborn frog butt, and had a fleece layer to wick the moisture away from LE's delicate newborn skin.  I loved the ease of use, but we had lots of leaks with this diaper. 

My little peanut LE in her Bum Genius AIO dipes.  Really does it get much cuter than this?!

Around a month or two we started to add Kissaluvs Fitted Diaper, Size 0, with a Cover into our routine.  This is a diaper that snaps on and then has a cover that velcros on to keep everything waterproof.  We had less leaks with this system, but what I didn't like was: it was two steps, bulky, and held the wetness against LE's skin. 
A Kissaluv with cover.

Around three months we started to use a One Size Pocket Diaper....and dun dun life was wonderful!  This style of diaper is similar to a disposable, but it has a pocket that you stuff with inserts that act as "soakers".  This allows you to use more inserts at night or during nap time when the baby may wet more.  This style of diaper also has the fleece layer that wicks moisture away from baby's skin, keeping that little bum nice and dry.  We have two styles of One Size Pockets, both have snaps in the front.  My favorite is our Fuzzibunz brand.  This brand has adjustable elastic in the legs that allows you to size the diaper for a snugger fit.  We have had significantly less leaks since using Fuzzibunz and virtually no blowouts, which is pretty amazing as we all know how explosive those breastmilk poos can be!  The other brand we have is Babylands.  This diaper does the trick, but it doesn't fit as snugly and tends to leak more frequently.  However, it's 1/4 of the price...so, if you're not up for investing too much money it diapers, this is a good option.  A one size diaper should last through potty training.

In a Babyland dipe.

Fuzzibunz make everyone happy!

My stash:
  • 22 XS Bum Genius AIO Diapers (Half of these were gently used from a trial diaper website, half new), approx $12/each new and $10/each used
  • 12 Size 0 Kissaluvs Fitted Diapers (All gently used, from a trial diaper website) $7/each used
  • 5 XS-Small Covers, various brands (All used, from a Craigslist mom) $40 for 5 covers 
  • 16 One Size Fuzzibunz (New from baby showers and a variety of websites, I waited for deals to come up) Normally $20/each, but I got them for $12-14/each via different online specials.
  • 5 One Size Babylands $25 for 5 new diapers on Ebay.
(I have to say that if we have another little peanut baby next time, I may use disposables for the first month or two and go straight to the one size pocket diapers.) 

Cloth doesn't end with diapers themselves...You need pail liners, wetbags, and special detergents. 

My extras:
  • Size Medium Planetwise Wetbag and a no-brand, handmade Wetbag (for on the go diaper changes, store the dirty diaper and then wash both diaper and bag) - both work wonderfully, keeping the stink and wetness tucked away in my diaper bag.
  • 2 Kissaluvs Pail liners
  • I use Tide Free and Clear and Charlie's Soap (or Trader Joes brand), switching between the two every other wash.  I figure it helps to switch between to help with soap build up...but I have no science behind this decision.
  • Biokleen Bac Out, to help keep the stinkiness down.  I pour a splash in my first cold wash.  Before using this, LE's diapers would have a funky fishy smell to them...ewww.  Bac Out is amazing for cleaning all sorts of things and it's natural/non-toxic!
  • Vinegar, a couple splashes in the rinse cycle.  I use a Downy Ball, because we don't have a fabric softener section in our washer.
  • Baking Soda, just a sprinkle or two in the pail liners to help keep things smelling fresh in between washes.
  • Since starting solids, I have incorporated a flushable diaper liner into our routine.  You can get a roll of 200 for $10.  Some people use sprayers that connect to the toilet or a spatula, but I like how easy it is to just flush the mess away.

Washing....There's lots of opinions out there, but here's my routine:
  • Cold wash, no detergent, but a splash of Bac Out.
  • Hot wash, detergent, and vinegar in rinse.
  • Dry on low heat.
If you're local to the DC area there's a great store called Abby's Lane where you can check out all your diaper options.  They also have free shipping and, in my experience, great customer service.  This is a lot of info, but as I said, cloth is a whole world and I've only touched the tip of the iceberg here.  Hope this is helpful for any of you interested in going cloth - you won't regret it!

06 January 2012

how does yogurt fit into babyled weaning?

One word: Messy.

Organic plain, whole milk yogurt mixed with mashed blueberries and strawberries.  LE says yum.  Of course that's what she says to every food, but this one looks a little extra "yum" to her.  Other foods LE is enjoying: pizza, beef stew, greek salad, tacos, and basically you name she eats it.  If you can get past the mess, baby led weaning is pretty fun. 

05 January 2012

bring on the boring

As we ring in the New Year, I've decided 2012 is going to be our year of stability. A good year, but maybe a little on the low key side. Last year held my greatest highs and lows in life and a boring year would be welcomed with open arms.

On a different note, as I was signing the new date 01/03/12, I told the Engineer "Wow 2012...I remember when we partyed like it was 1999, because it was 1999." To which he'd said "You didn't seriously just say that." Do you remember...y2k? My friends and I always had ridiculously lame, but fun, parties. It was always a slumber party full of sparkling grape juice, noise makers, dancing, and dress up.

Happy New Year! I wish you all an exciting, or maybe rather boring, year.

See my baby belly.  Don't you want to come over and blow a raspberry?!